How Friendships Change with Tech/Social Network Communication

A smiley by Pumbaa, drawn using a text editor.
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One of the biggest ways I believe friendships change these days is when someone doesn’t move forward with the changing times of how we communicate now.

A clear example is present in my own life – I send a text and don’t get a reply.  I am not looking to start a long-running conversation.  I have sent warm thoughts, I have sent a health update, and yes I have sent a distress signal.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to live inside my brain to announce to my gray matter that I am low on the priority list of this person.  One day I tried to send a photo I knew they would like, they had cancelled their data plan.  I was really sad about this because it was something I wanted to share as well as a way we had shared in the past.

Texting is the way we communicate in this day and age.  Like it or not, it is here to stay.  My husband and I text each other sometimes even in the same home.  It saves me steps or trying to get his attention when he is busy and doesn’t hear me.  I text the entire generation of 40-something friends.  Yes, we do call on the phone now and then, but mainly we text.

Teenagers – it’s the only way to talk.  I ask my 15-year-old twin grand daughters why they don’t call me and their answer is “we don’t like talking on the phone.”  We text and they are really good at spelling out words – I do “speak” text but I let them think I don’t – lol.

I know that we lose emotions in texting and emailing.  I get that, and unfortunately sometimes text and email wording can come across the wrong way or be taken the wrong way.  That’s what smiley faces were invented for along with knowing some text jargon so you can let people know what emotional level you were coming from when you “talked” to them.

In real estate, our profession, we have been told for at least 5 years now it is the way people want to be contacted in transactions.  Case and point, my husband did an entire deal mostly by texts while we were on a trip to Las Vegas.  Yes in between gambling, fine dining, shopping and shows a nice deal went down.

While I started writing this blog to talk about how friendships change when a friend doesn’t embrace the social networking (texting included) way of communicating, a business life can suffer too.  I know two women who have a very nice clothing boutique here in the area.  They do everything on paper.  They don’t have computers.  They don’t know how to use one, therefore they are missing the boat of making even more money.  They don’t have a website so they cannot blog,  or send emails about sales, they rely on a dieing industry-print ads in the local paper.  This is an enormous expense as well.

Deciding to not move forward in this new electronic world does hurt friendships and business relationships.  Worse yet when you don’t reply to someone no matter how they reach out to you, that’s just rude.  When I am busy and cannot start a text conversation I at least acknowledge the text and I let them know I will get with them as soon as I can.  3 days of no reply pushes the limit on getting back to someone when all you are looking for maybe is a simple thumbs up, an electronic hug, or how about this one; a smile for sending them warm wishes.

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  • jerianne says:

    My number one mentor was my Mom. At the closing of her life she was interested in every thing new under the sun. While in the hospital, watching a super bowl game , she looked at me and said ” You have go to show me how to work the computer ” She was 81 then. Hope I emulate her joy of learning new things when I reach that age.
    Must add that at times I do get behind and a tad lazy and don’t answer notes as quickly as I should. ” the hurrier i go the behinder i get” however I will attempt to improve .

  • Nicole says:

    As someone who grew up in this technological age and has embraced social media/texting/other various technological developments as they came on the scene, I’ve realized that there are people who, for whatever reasons of their own choosing, do not embrace these developments to the same extent as I do.

    In turn, if it is someone I am close to and someone whom I talk to often, I know how they handle these developments and how they need to be reached.

    While this may affect my typical routine of contact, (which I do admit I text more than I call), it is only with this person, and honestly, it isn’t an inconvenience at all. Since I am close to people that don’t embrace social media, or whatever form of contact I feel like using that day, doesn’t mean that I need to change my friendship with them, or that they need to change their ways to remain friends with me.

    There was a time when all of these communication tools didn’t exist and what did we do? We called, we mailed, we visited. If anything, I believe that social media is affecting relationships in a negative way in such that it takes away the personal affects and contact away and makes it computerized and robotic. I literally have lost friends and drifted away from friends because we thought that communicating via social media and text only was acceptable; I no longer know how to talk to them when it comes time to meet face-to-face.

    I continue to use technological developments such as Facebook and texting with those on the same level as me, but I don’t use them with what close friends I have left for fear that they will turn to my social media friends only.

    I don’t know, everyone is allowed their choice to embracing the technological developments or not and I feel that friendship is worth much more than a text of Facebook message.

  • Carole Sanek says:

    Awesome comment one I agree with you almost 100%. My article was written about the fact that social networking one way or the other does change the way friends grow and businesses happen. Many companies large and small twitter everything now-they set you up with a business twitter account and that is how you are informed of meetings, conference calls etc. Texting, twittering, whatever is one of the quickest ways to reach someone that we now have.

    I spent my childhood writing letters, it is all we had when long distance charges were prohibitive. When you got a letter the “Emily Post” way of doing things was to respond so communication was two-sided.

    When communication is one-sided it’s not communication.

    Me, personally, I send a text usually to inform, congratulate, ask a question, or in a very personal arena send how I feel, like a status update. I don’t have long texting conversations, I prefer an email or a phone call. Sometimes though emails don’t get read, which is very unfortunate, and you have to admit it’s hard to ignore a text message because it is right there on the face of the phone.

    No matter what vehicle of communication one chooses to use or agrees to use it is not communication unless two people participate & hopefully in a timely manner.

    I like texting in certain cases because I can give a quick response. It is not about the length of time spent at all – it is about taking the time to make the response.

  • Carole Sanek says:

    One last thought – the nice thing about knowing the people who take the time to comment is I can also respond in private where some responses really do belong.

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